On Call - La Permanence
Saturday, April 2, 2022
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Q&A with Alice Diop
A powerful work of latter-day cinema vérité, Alice Diop’s second feature chronicles the operations of a refugee medical clinic at the Avicenne Hospital just outside Paris. Migrants file in and out of a single room at the hospital, where their injuries—to body and mind alike—are evaluated by a single general practitioner and a single psychiatrist. On Call deliberately confines itself to the setting of the medical center and presents the suffering and day-to-day precarity of the migrants with an empathetic directness that both calls into question the adequacy of medical and social services available to refugees and conjures the struggles of their lives outside of the clinic.
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